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|Jaker Ali Anik||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Mehedi Hasan Rana||4.0||0||40||2||10.00|
After a day's break, Cricket resumed in Bangladesh Premier League at the new venue of Sylhet where the disappointment for the home fans couldn't have been any bigger with the kind of performance displayed by Sylhet Sixers in the second match of the day. Sixers' monumental loss to Comilla Victorians had a massive impact on their net run rate and were therefore pushed to the bottom of the ladder. With just six matches to go for them in the tournament, they have a mountain to climb with if they want to qualify for the knockouts. They are set to lock horns with Rangpur Rider in their upcoming game on 16th January at the same venue. The Riders didn't really have a great time at Dhaka and will love to start with a winning note at Sylhet.
The Sixers' over-reliance on their batting stalwarts was once again apparent as they were bowled out for the second lowest total of this edition of Bangladesh Premier League to hand a mammoth win to Comilla Victorians. The Sixers could never recover from the early loss of their stalwarts which was the primary reason for their defeat.
Batting first on a slow and sluggish surface of Sylhet, the Sixers lost three wickets in only the second over of the game which was bowled by Mahedi Hasan. David Warner, Andre Fletcher, and Afif Hossain were his victims as the wickets to fall in the second over which was followed by the dismissal of Nicholas Pooran in the subsequent over. They were reduced to 22 for 7 in only the eighth over of the game and were staring at a record low-total, but a splendid knock by Alok Kapali, who remained unbeaten at 33, somehow helped Sixers avoid the lowest score in the competition. Remarkably, except Kapali, none of their batsmen got to double digits and David Warner and Nicholas Pooran couldn't even get off the mark.
Defending a total of 69 was always going to be a one-sided affair and it was only the matter of when. They picked up a couple of wickets inside the first three overs, but that only delayed the inevitable. Imrul Kayes' and Shamsur Rahman's calm innings ensured a smooth cruise for Comilla Victorians as they overhauled the total with a little under nine overs to spare.
David Warner, Liton Das, Afif Hossain, Jaker Ali Anik, Nicholas Pooran, Sabbir Rahman, Alok Kapali, S Tanvir, Sandeep Lamichhane, Taskin Ahmed, Mehedi Hasan Rana.
Rangpur Riders are coming into this game on the back of two consecutive losses - against Dhaka Dynamites and Rajshahi Kings. Both their losses have been extremely close which left the fans and their think-tank wondering about things that went wrong.
Riders' persistence with Chris Gayle, the Universe Boss, at the top hasn't paid any dividends yet, but his 23-run knock in the last match would certainly have ignited the hopes of the Rangpur fans. Clearly, the Riders have depended heavily on Rilee Rossouw with him being the top-scorer no only for them, but also in the tournament. Rossouw has scored 213 runs at an average of 115 in five innings and is currently leading the batting charts by a fair margin.
Their bowling hasn't been too far off from where they should be with Mashrafe Mortaza and Shafiul Islam being their top-performers. Sohag Gazi is likely to play a vital role on Sylhet's surface which had plenty of assistance for the slower bowlers on the first day of the second leg of the tournament.
Their failure to chase down a mediocre total against Rajshahi Kings highlighted a lot of issues in their batting. The Riders are clearly looking top-heavy with the likes of Ravi Bopara and Benny Howell not contributing with the bat. AB de Villiers was set to join the team for Sylhet leg, but it is highly unlikely that he will play in the upcoming encounter. Therefore, the Riders will have to sort their death-over batting and if they manage to do something about it, they'll be a frightening team to deal with.
Chris Gayle, AD Hales, Mohammad Mithun, Mehedi Maruf, Rilee Rossouw, Benny Howell, Mashrafe Mortaza, Nahidul Islam, Farhad Reza, S Gazi, Shafiul Islam.
Both the Riders and the Sixers are languishing in the bottom half of the points table and are desperate for a win here. Sylhet Sixers are coming off an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Victorians, but the experience of playing at that surface should come in handy for them. The Rangpur Riders, although, haven't done that badly in the competition, but they've failed to close games more often than not which is something they'll need to sort quickly. However, the Riders have a powerful batting lineup that can decimate any bowling attack on their day and because of that as well as the experience available throughout their lineup, we think that they will topple the Sixers in the upcoming encounter.
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